Minister optimistic as new era in health services begins

A new era in Samoa’s health services is underway.

It started yesterday with the re-unification of the National Health Services (N.H.S.) and Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) after a bill to make the merge possible was passed in Parliament this week.

Speaking during a meeting held at the N.H.S. conference room, the Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama, was optimistic that this is the direction health services in Samoa needed.

“I have high hopes that this unification will help us work together to improve the health care for the people of Samoa,” Tuitama said. 

“That is why I applaud the hard work carried out by everyone within the Ministry. 

“The feeling is more of excitement than of doubt mainly because we all know what we are stepping into and it has been such a long time since we have planned this.”

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Yesterday’s gathering was well attended.

Other health officials present include the Associate Minister of Health, Salausa Dr. John Ah Ching, Chief Executive Officer of M.O.H., Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, N.H.S. General Manager, Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toelupe and both N.H.S. and M.O.H. management and staff. 

Tuitama said the Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II, had signed the law to officiate the merge yesterday. 

 “According to the National Health Service Amendment Bill 2018 which was approved recently in Parliament, the union of N.H.S. and M.O.H. will automatically be known as one body which is M.O.H. - because the act is amended to the M.O.H. 

Speaking to Samoa Observer in an interview, he said that they were able discuss possibilities and probabilities of things that may be encountered in their journey into this new era.

“The only significant change is management, in reference to the general management position which is redundant in the new law,” he said.

“The new act stipulates the Director General and Deputy Director General for Health and in that context there is no position for the General Manager in the law.

“But at the moment we are still using the services of the General Manager of N.H.S. within the phase out period which is around a month that we are undergoing at the moment. 

“But for management alone, we are just putting together what already exists in N.H.S. and M.O.H. and let them work together for further improvements.”

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